A Journey into App Development

A 12-year-old app developer | Thomas Suarez | TED

From a young age, the speaker harbored a deep fascination for computers and technology. Their journey into the world of app development began with a simple curiosity, leading them to create innovative applications for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Among their creations was "Earth Fortune," a unique fortune-telling app that displayed vibrant colors of Earth based on the user's fortune. However, it was their most successful venture, "Bustin Jieber," a Justin Bieber-themed whack-a-mole game, that garnered attention and laughter from peers and audiences alike.

The speaker's motivation stemmed from a desire to fill a gap in the market and cater to a niche audience – those who shared a distaste for the pop icon Justin Bieber. Through ingenuity and perseverance, they transformed an idea into reality, releasing the game just before the holidays in 2010.

Reflecting on their journey, the speaker recognized the challenges faced by aspiring young developers. While resources abound for traditional hobbies like sports and music, avenues for learning app development are scarce. Determined to bridge this gap, they embarked on a path of self-education, mastering multiple programming languages before delving into iPhone app development with Apple's software development kit.

Their efforts bore fruit as they successfully navigated the complexities of app creation and secured a place for their creations on the App Store. Encouragement from family, friends, teachers, and even strangers at the Apple Store fueled their passion and propelled them forward.

Inspired by the late Steve Jobs, the speaker sought to pay it forward by establishing an app club at their school. With the support of a dedicated teacher, they aimed to democratize app development education, offering a platform for students to learn and share knowledge.

Participation in the iPad Pilot Program further solidified their commitment to educational technology. Recognizing the potential of iPads in classrooms, they advocated for thoughtful integration and collaborated with teachers to identify suitable apps for educational purposes.

Despite being students themselves, the speaker emphasized the invaluable resource that students represent in the realm of technology. They urged educators to embrace this reality and leverage student expertise to enhance learning experiences.

Looking to the future, the speaker expressed aspirations to continue creating apps, explore Android development, and expand their app club's reach. Their journey serves as a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and a relentless drive to learn and innovate in the ever-evolving landscape of technology.